Russia has summoned a senior Canadian diplomat in Moscow over Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly’s musings about “regime change.”
According to state media, Moscow summoned Canadian chargé d’affaires Brian Ebel on Monday to tell him the comments were unacceptable.
Joly said earlier this month that western sanctions in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are having an impact, because the world is seeing effects “on society and how much we’re seeing potential regime change in Russia.”
When The Canadian Press asked Joly if Ottawa is now seeking regime change in Moscow, she responded that Canada is focused on punishing the regime of Russian President Vladimir Putin instead of the Russians who live under his reign.
Moscow warns this will further harm diplomatic relations after a collapse in trade and a series of summons on both sides over issues such as Ottawa’s provision of security for Russian diplomats and Russia’s embassy posting social-media messages that upset the LGBTQ community.
Russia also argues that meddling in domestic affairs runs counter to the 1961 Vienna Convention that governs diplomatic relations.
—Dylan Robertson, The Canadian Press